Short Fiction Friday: Today I am Paul

Today I am Paul by Martin L. Schoemaker, Clarkesworld #107

[no synopsis provided]

I guess I got a way of finding stories that are emotional. Today I am Paul mights not have the title of one, but trust me this is one big emotional rollercoaster. Imagine a future where healthcare is provided with androids (and not the Baymax kind). Today I am Paul offers a near future experience in this field.

The story starts of with the question of where Paul is and soon the reply comes. But before that you learn that there is something that can change it's appearance, cheek line and eyes colors etcetera. Completely emulating a person. Meet Medical Care Android BRKCX-01932-217JH-98662, who takes care of the old lady Mildred. As I said this android can emulate, copy cat people. What I could make up of the story is that Mildred has lost some people and is probably suffering from dementia. The family members of Mildred either life not closeby, have busy lives or are dead the sole caretaking fall on Android. But this doesn't come without some tricky bits, as one moment Mildred remembers Paul, her son or Susan her daughter or her husband Henry in a completely different way. It has to switch fast between the persons he is emulating. And more than once it is a close call and the last thing you want to have is a dementing person being up set. Anyway, all is going just as it should be until one terrible day when the house of Mildred burns down and she becomes wounded. Burn marks and smoke inhalation. Android does it's best with taking care of her but has to wait for the paramedics to take Mildred to the hospital. But due to the damage she had suffered in the fire, she is beyond saving. In the continuation of this lies the true beauty of the story and one that you will have to find out by yourself. I must urge you to to completely scroll down to the bottom of the story because that will be a spoiler for you. 

I must say that I am very impressed with this short story that Martin L. Schoemaker wrote down. It has a definite coolness factor to it due to the android and the advanced care he is giving. It could well be our next step in modern medicine. HOwever where Today I am Paul gets it's true strength from is the big emotional side of the story. How you see Mildred interaction with the things that she still knows, when she gets upset, it genuinely feels as what it means to be upset. The ending of the story is also a big plus. One that will cause you to wow. I am going to be honest but this is one of the best short stories that I have read so far this year.

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